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Chain from Vidrin's OtherWise

Vidrin will use the Live Arts Boston (LAB) 2021 Grant to continue work on his project, OtherWise, which seeks to make sense of intergenerational trauma in the refugee experience through music and dance. In collaboration with singer-songwriter Alec Hutson, the choreographer will orchestrate a multimedia evening-length production in response to Soviet-era bard songs of oppression and hope. The production’s aim is to build community healing in a world of socio-political unrest.  

As proud children of Soviet-Jewish refugees, the two artists wanted to draw from their experiences of navigating their cultural heritage given the traumas that are still present in their communities. Through music and dance, the creative partners promote courage, understanding, and vulnerability, as well as honor the challenges of uprooting and relocating in a foreign land. “We see this project as more than simply ‘translating’ our experience through performing arts—it is an opportunity to process, reflect, and share together within and beyond our community,” states Vidrin. 

The LAB grant will be invaluable to helping Vidrin spread his message through his artistic endeavors. “As a choreographer, I am constantly paying attention to subtle patterns of movement and relationship. It has been a dream of mine to take an artistic, multidisciplinary lens to the experiences of my parents and grandparents, to respond to and reflect on the intergenerational trauma of systemic oppression and the complicated threads of identity in Judaism and refugeehood,” said Vidrin. 

OtherWise invites the voices of community members to share their experiences living within oppressive regimes. Running from October 2021 through June 2022, the interactive dance theatre piece will offer opportunities for the public to engage in it through open rehearsals, immersive workshops, and informal showings.  

Vidrin was also the recent winner of a SEED grant, “Winning a SEED grant from the CAMD’s Center for the Arts has also sparked future projects bringing dance in dialogue with the law. I am collaborating with Dr. Ari Waldman this year and am very excited to share new interdisciplinary work with the Northeastern community.” 

The SEED grant was issued by the Center for the Arts and was called Modes of Address/ Redress. Applicants had to submit a 500-word paper discussing their project as well as their proposed budget to Amy Halliday, Director for the Center for the Arts, in April. Four finalists, including Vidrin, were chosen in May for a grant amounted between $2,000 to $5,000. 

“It feels great to be able to share this project with the Northeastern community, not only as a member of the faculty but as an alum as well” Vidrin shared. Vidrin graduated from Northeastern in 2012 with a B.S. in Psychology. He strongly believes in the relationship between theory and practice, which can be upheld by philanthropic support, explaining, “Grants like this [LAB] are especially important for aspiring performers to delve into process, to make mistakes, and to grow as people as well as artists.”